Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said:
“Fish health and welfare is, and always will be, at the heart of Scottish salmon farming. Investment in new technologies like thermolicers and hydrolicers has been an effective step to manage naturally occurring sea lice on farms. These technologies are important tools in the salmon farming industry’s toolkit of options for managing sea lice levels as close to background levels as possible.
As with all new technologies, there has been a bedding in period and some regrettable salmon mortality events that have been notified to the Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate. Farming companies are learning from their experience of using these new methods of lice control to improve their operation, resulting in improved management of fish health. The recently published statistics for sea lice on salmon farms show the lowest levels since July 2013, a positive position which the sector is working hard to maintain and improve on.”